TJ Oshie urges lawmakers to keep Warroad Warrior name and logo
WARROAD, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie is standing up for the Warroad Warriors nickname and logo, which he represented when he got his start in the sport.
“I currently play for the Washington Capitals and have just finished my 15th year in the NHL. As an American Indian, I have proudly represented the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, making it to the Frozen Four in all 3 years,” Oshie wrote. “Lastly, I have proudly represented the Warroad Warriors for three years. Making it to the State Tournament all three years winning two state titles, I wore my Warrior jersey with exact same amount of pride that I wore my United States Olympic jersey.
Thank you @TJOshie77 for your support of the Warroad Warrior! @GovTimWalz @peggyflanagan Please give us the opportunity to educate you on the impact of forced removal of our Trademarked identity that raises money for Indigenous Youth programs. @WHockeytownUSA @Lady_Warriors00 pic.twitter.com/8X69JwMrxZ— Warroad Schools (@WarroadS) April 18, 2023
A proposed bill would prohibit Minnesota school districts from using “names, symbols or images that depict or refer to an American Indian tribe, individual, custom or tradition to be used as a mascot, nickname, logo, letterhead or team name of the district or the school within the district.”
Oshie wrote a letter to lawmakers on behalf of Warroad Public Schools, defending the logo and expressing his pride in the Warriors name and logo.
“The fact that people are trying to take away the Warrior logo, in my opinion, is a travesty,” Oshie said in his letter. “I grew up having my grandfather and great uncle telling me stories what it meant to play for the Warriors. My dream as a kid too was to play for the Warroad Warriors. Not to play in the NHL. To take away the Warrior name and logo is to further remove the Native American Culture from our country.”
Oshie goes on to say that if there are areas in the country where indigenous people of that area would like the name and logo removed, he would support that, adding that Warroad is not one of those places.
He finishes the letter by saying “let us continue celebrating the American Indian culture in Warroad.” And signed the letter “TJ Oshie, Warroad Warriors #19.”
Warroad school leaders posted a statement, in response to the legislation, highlighting their native history. It says, in part: “Our current logo was designed by an Indigenous artist and is trademarked by our American Indian Parent Advisory Committee. The sale of every item using the Warroad Warrior logo generates money for programs benefitting Indigenous youth.” You can read the full statement here: https://www.warroad.k12.mn.us/article/1045856 .
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